Arsenal ¬†are currently in Vietnam on their pre-season tour of Asia, and are still apparently healthilly supported there, despite not winning a trophy since approximately the 1930s. Arsenal created a piece of history by becoming the first Premier League team to play in Vietnam.
The healthiness of their support was demonstrated by one young fan who kept up with Arsenal’s team coach for almost 15 minutes, much to the delight of the players on board who chanted “sign him up”.
Vu Xuan Tien, 20, was invited to meet the squad after they noticed a man clad in a team shirt running near the bus, dodging Hanoi’s traffic to keep up.The players then stopped the bus and signed his shirt.
“It was a dream come true for me to be invited to board the Arsenal bus and to meet coach (Wenger) and all the players, including my idol Mikel Arteta,” he told AFP, adding that he felt “so lucky” to have met the team.
“I have also been invited to see Wenger’s Arsenal team play at their home in London at Emirates Stadium, probably in August or September. It is really unbelievable,” he said.
“It will be the greatest joy of my life,” added the 20-year-old, who became an overnight media sensation after the video was posted on the Arsenal site on Tuesday.
When asked about which side he would support in the match, he replied: “I will cheer both teams… but I will give a bit more to Vietnam.”
Vu Xuan Tien became the team’s unofficial mascot on the Hanoi leg of their pre-season Asia tour, and was invited to lead the Arsenal players onto the pitch at the My Dinh stadium in Hanoi before their Wednesday match against the Vietnamese national team, which they won 7-1.
“It should be a message for all of you guys that if you really want to pursue your dreams, it can happen,” said goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal video.
The footage illustrates the fervour for Premier League clubs by fans in Asia, where European football has a massive following, says the Fox News.
Wenger, who saw his side score seven against the Vietnamese national team on Wednesday, says the local fan is providing to be an inspiration to his players in tough training sessions.
‚ÄúHe kept running when all the others stopped and he refused to give up,‚ÄĚ Wenger told The Mirror.
‚ÄúThe players were calling out to him, ‚ÄėHello, how are you?‚Äô Because he refused to stop, we invited him onto our coach. And today he is a star all over Vietnam.
According to the Yahoo News, the 63-year-old has been encouraged by his side’s pre-season preparations, and, after being blown away by the club’s support in Vietnam, hopes to return to the country in the future.
‚ÄúWhen Vietnam scored, it was one of the few times in my life that I enjoyed it when our opponents scored.
‚ÄúIt was such a great moment in the stadium and they deserved to be happy.‚ÄĚ